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United Way of 1000 Lakes announces that Itasca County has been awarded Federal funds through the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP) under the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA).


Itasca County has been chosen to receive $32,195 to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services for individuals and family who are experiencing hunger, homelessness and in economic crisis.


Funding is directly related to the average number of unemployed individuals in Itasca County for the most current 12-month period (July 2015 – June 2016). This is an increased from the previous award of $6,361 through the EFSP’s State-Set-Aside process and the first direct allocation from the national Board since 2010.

United Way of 1000 Lakes convenes a local board of community partners to determine which organizations can best utilize the emergency grant dollars. The local board is charged with determining how the funds will be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies. The board will meet Thursday, August 10th at 3 p.m. at United Way (350 NW 1st Ave., Grand Rapids).

Applications are now being accepted from human service agencies serving Itasca County. Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, organizations chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private, voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive Federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.


If you would like more information or interested in applying for funds, contact United Way of 1000 Lakes at 218-999-7570. Applications are available for download on the United Way's website at A cover letter describing use of funds and completed application must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9th.

The board has previously distributed supplemental funds to the Community Café, GRACE House, KOOTASCA, The Salvation Army, Advocates for Family Peace, Second Harvest Food Bank and Kiesler Wellness Center. These agencies were responsible for providing EFSP-funded services such as: food assistance for the displaced, utility assistance and housing assistance. 

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